Art Vent

Letting the Fresh Air In

Myron Stout

Art Vent Letting the Fresh Air In

October 9, 2007
Have I been whining a lot? I guess so, because today Roberto came over and said he didn’t think my painting was as bad as he'd expected. He said the color was good, that the alizarin yellow turned out to be great as underpainting—but that I’m painting what I want to see rather than what’s really there. His exact words were, “It’s naïve, but not in a good way.” Only a true friend would say that. Of course, I knew he was right; I was just hoping that I could fool him the way I was trying to fool myself into thinking this painting was Gerhard Richter-esque when it’s really more like Maurice Sendak, minus the Wild Things.

I’d hoped for a happy ending—I was committed to the idea that a painting blog should be inspirational—but instead I’m going to take Roberto’s advice, retire this thing for a while and start another. And this time I’ll try not to be so histrionic about it.

Meanwhile there’s Jeanette and Erica’s wedding and an article to write for Art in America on the Marisol show that’s up at Neuhoff Edelman Gallery (41 West 57th) until October 27th. The great thing about having two vocations is that it makes for very productive procrastination: I do some of my best painting when I’m supposed to be writing and, conversely, having a deadline gives me a great excuse not to paint.

My reviews of Myron Stout and Jo Baer are in this month’s (October) Art in America.
May 16, 2007
The wonderful thing about a blog, as opposed to a magazine article, is that it's infinitely editable--which is great for those of us afflicted with lingual OCD. This aspect would have appealed to that most meticulous of artists, Myron Stout, who died in 1987 and whose show at Washburn (up until June 29th) I'm preparing to review. Someone once told me that Stout sneaked a pencil into the Whitney and a guard caught him embellishing one of the drawings in his own retrospective. Even if the story is apocryphal, it describes Stout perfectly, and you've got to admire any artist who cares that much.